The official opening of Stirling’s salmon fishing season on the iconic River Teith in Callander will take place this Friday (1st February).
Pipers marching down Stirling City Center

After a successful trial last year, anglers are again being welcomed to fish for free on the Council’s sections of the River Teith between Friday 1st February and Saturday 9th February. This year anglers are not required to attend any permit outlets to pick up a day permits for the free period.

Last year the River Teith produced the Malloch Trophy winner, Scotland’s most prestigious award for salmon fishing, given for the largest salmon caught on the fly and safely returned to the water in Scotland each year.

The launch event will begin at 9.15am in Callander, when the piper-led parade of anglers, armoured with fishing rods, leaves Ancaster Square. The river will be officially opened by celebrity angler James Stokoe, winner of the BBC’s ‘Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big Fish’ competition.

Introductions into the world of fly tying will be on offer from John Richardson of Franc & Snaelda, and for those looking to try their hand at fishing for the first time, ‘come and try sections’ will help new anglers cast their first line.

Exhibitors will include Trossachs Search & Rescue, Mhor, Lantra Scotland, The Scottish Fly Fair, Forth Rivers Trust, Police Scotland and Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.

Stirling Council Fisheries Officer Scott Mason said: “The opening of a new salmon fishing season is always an exciting time and each year this event gets bigger than the last, with more anglers and organisations turning out to support us.

“I am delighted that James Stokoe has agreed to open the river. He has a real passion for our sport that he loves to pass on to seasoned and new anglers alike. He will be among the many experts on hand at the launch who will be able to offer guidance and expertise on a range of fishing subjects.”

James Stokoe said: “I am really looking forward to help launch the fishing season on the River Teith. One of the special aspects of my job that I really enjoy is seeing someone catch their first salmon. I have seen people get emotional on the river bank after catching their first fish and that is a testament to the impact that fishing can have.

“It’s good for the mind, good for the soul, and can be a great release for people who may have stress in other parts of their lives. They can come down to the river bank and relax, try something totally different and be at one with nature.”

Stirling Councillors recently approved the continuation of popular permit prices offering residents and visitors to Stirling some of the best value salmon fishing in the UK. Anglers can fish for nine months for just £200, while youths up to the age of 21 can now fish the whole season for only £15. Up to the age of 12, youths are also welcome to fish for free with a paying adult on a catch and release basis.

Vice-Convenor of the Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “The rivers Forth and Teith offer not only some of the best value salmon fishing in the UK, but also a warm and hospitable welcome from the communities that surround them.

“As one of the last remaining publicly-owned salmon fisheries, our permit price freeze will allow a wider range of anglers than ever before to access the beautiful rivers. It has been a long running tradition to celebrate salmon season opening in Scotland and we hope to see as many people as possible visit Callander on Friday 1st February.”